When it comes to scoring guards, Marius Grigonis of Panathinaikos Athens and Jordan Loyd of AS Monaco are among the best and most reliable in the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague. On Friday, the two will go against one another as their teams clash in a highly-anticipated Round 4 game in the Greek capital.
Head-to-head: Grigonis, Panathinaikos vs. Loyd, Monaco
Both players have had slow starts to the season with their new clubs. Grigonis scored just 5 points on 1-for-9 three-point shooting in a season-opening loss against Real Madrid. He bounced back with a fine 17-point performance in a road win over Crvena Zvezda mts Belgrade, before posting 14 points in Wednesday's 29-point loss in Berlin to ALBA. Grigonis has shot 6-for-10 from long range over the last two games and averaged 3.0 assists.
Meanwhile, Loyd was scoreless in Monaco's season-opening road win at Virtus Segafredo Bologna and scored just 3 points in a Round 2 overtime win over Anadolu Efes Istanbul. On Tuesday, however, Loyd was more of his usual self. He collected 21 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists in Tel Aviv, although Monaco suffered its first loss of the season.
The slow start did little to hurt Loyd's highly respectable career average of 14.1 points through 73 games, along with 3.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds. Meanwhile, Grigonis has scored 10.7 points over his 97 career appearances as one of the EuroLeague's most reliable three-point shooters, knocking down 43.5% of his career shots from beyond the arc.
Interestingly, even though Grigonis made his EuroLeague debut in the 2018-19 season, and Loyd a season later, they played against each other in the EuroLeague action just two times, both in the 2020-21 campaign, when Grigonis was with Zalgiris Kaunas and Loyd wore the uniform of Crvena Zvezda.
In the first of those games, Loyd scored a team-high 19 points to go with 5 rebounds and 3 assists in 31 minutes, but Zalgiris picked up a 69-75 road win with Grigonis scoring 8 points on 1-for-5 shooting from the field and dishing 3 assists. When they met in Kaunas later that season, Grigonis played 36 minutes and shined with 17 points, making 3 of 6 three-pointers and adding 6 assists and 3 rebounds. His plus-minus was +24 as Zalgiris won 75-62. Loyd had 16 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds in that game, giving him an average of 17.5 points against Grigonis's teams.
One of the things that stands out for both players is their elite free-throw shooting. That comes as no surprise with Grigonis, who ranks second all-time in the EuroLeague with 92.5% career accuracy. Loyd is an 86.2% career free-throw shooter and enters this game having made 15 consecutively dating back to last season.
Going into Friday, Grigonis will bring lesser head-to-head numbers but hopes to continue his winning trend against Loyd's teams. The Monaco guard will be poised to build on his Tuesday performance while he looks for his first EuroLeague win with Grigonis on the opposing team.